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Martin

King Broyan and the Battle of Willford

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Martin    22

I am puzzled as to how King Broyan and his small rag-tag army manages to defeat the Grazelander Horse Army. He only has a very small force after fleeing from Heortlland via the Shadow Plateau and not ikley to have any mounted troops so how does he manage a victory against the mounted and magically potent troops of Queen Mirinia? not only does he beat her he kills her in the battle ...

anyone care to speculate on ideas of how he is victorious?

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M Helsdon    714
12 hours ago, Martin said:

I am puzzled as to how King Broyan and his small rag-tag army manages to defeat the Grazelander Horse Army. He only has a very small force after fleeing from Heortlland via the Shadow Plateau and not ikley to have any mounted troops so how does he manage a victory against the mounted and magically potent troops of Queen Mirinia? not only does he beat her he kills her in the battle ...

anyone care to speculate on ideas of how he is victorious?

King Broyan had some very potent forces under his command, including what would become the core of the Egglord Warlocks (heavy cavalry), and much of the surviving garrison of Whitewall. Broyan drove off the Crimson Bat there, so he has considerable magical power at his disposal. [In effect, he would have heavy artillery backing him up, against cavalry.]

I am uncertain which battle you are referring to, as I can't find any source for a Battle of Willford.

Mirinia was killed fighting in Esrolia in 1623, while her sister Vistera led a rebellion against her. Some stories say that she was cursed by the Earth priestesses of Esrolia and later killed by her own bodyguard.

Edited by M Helsdon

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Martin    22
6 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

King Broyan had some very potent forces under his command, including what would become the core of the Egglord Warlocks (heavy cavalry), and much of the surviving garrison of Whitewall. Broyan drove off the Crimson Bat there, so he has considerable magical power at his disposal. [In effect, he would have heavy artillery backing him up, against cavalry.]

I am uncertain which battle you are referring to, as I can't find any source for a Battle of Willford.

In the Guide page 733  we see the map showing various events of the early Hero Wars , including the battle of willford (valadon)

so are are speculating that he took cavalry under or across the shadow plateau, even if he did he is unlikley to have more than 500 men total? very few survived the Whitewall seige by escaping with Broyan to the ice refuge and even afterwards when he raises the tribes in Heortland to rebel they dont all join his army in fleeing to Esrolia i would argue. so he has a very small force compared to the Grazelander Horse army

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M Helsdon    714
12 hours ago, Martin said:

In the Guide page 733  we see the map showing various events of the early Hero Wars , including the battle of willford (valadon)

That explains why a Search didn't find it...

12 hours ago, Martin said:

so are are speculating that he took cavalry under or across the shadow plateau, even if he did he is unlikley to have more than 500 men total? very few survived the Whitewall seige by escaping with Broyan to the ice refuge and even afterwards when he raises the tribes in Heortland to rebel they dont all join his army in fleeing to Esrolia i would argue. so he has a very small force compared to the Grazelander Horse army

The map shows Broyan's forces passing under the Shadow Plateau. Sometimes in Glorantha a small force with potent magic can defeat a larger force. At the time, the Grazelanders were in the middle of their own civil war, and some stories say that Mirinia was cursed by the Earth priestesses of Esrolia and later killed by her own bodyguard. Her sister Vistera became Feathered Horse Queen in 1623, after leading the rebellion. She took the title “With Bitter Heart” and ruthlessly avenged the deaths of her grandmother, mother, and sisters. She had pro-Lunar chiefs and priestesses murdered, allied with monsters and Tricksters, and made a terrible pact to awaken the Dragons. She died during the Dragonrise, upon witnesses her schemes reaching fruition.

So Mirinia was in severe trouble before the battle: her own source of magic weakened by her sister's rebellion (who was obviously favored by the goddess), possibly cursed by Ernaldan priestesses in the land she was fighting in; fighting against a High King with all the magical resources he would have.

The battle probably was a little like the outcome of the Charge of the Light Brigade...

Edited by M Helsdon
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Psullie    60

... and this is Glorantha, classical military tactics do not apply when magically powerful individuals can obliterate entire armies. 

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jajagappa    766
11 hours ago, Martin said:

not ikley to have any mounted troops

This is during the Esrolian Civil War as well, and before the Siege of Nochet, so he could well have been granted use of whatever cavalry Samastina had at her disposal.  There were two militia units in Nochet to draw upon (the Green Horse and the Golden Racers; and if Broyan was able to invoke the Old Earth Alliance to release Irillo from staying in Nochet, these could have been used), plus two regiments of the Kimantorings (the Noble Brothers and one unit of the Axe Maidens), and likely mercenary companies including Sir Narib's Company.  

Then there are the Grace Priestesses, who have the power to bless and curse (and clearly support Samastina), the Axe Maidens infantry unit (who likely could cut down horses), and the Humakti Battalion.  

 

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M Helsdon    714
23 hours ago, jajagappa said:

This is during the Esrolian Civil War as well, and before the Siege of Nochet, so he could well have been granted use of whatever cavalry Samastina had at her disposal.  There were two militia units in Nochet to draw upon (the Green Horse and the Golden Racers; and if Broyan was able to invoke the Old Earth Alliance to release Irillo from staying in Nochet, these could have been used), plus two regiments of the Kimantorings (the Noble Brothers and one unit of the Axe Maidens), and likely mercenary companies including Sir Narib's Company.  

Then there are the Grace Priestesses, who have the power to bless and curse (and clearly support Samastina), the Axe Maidens infantry unit (who likely could cut down horses), and the Humakti Battalion.  

My guesses as to their capabilities:

Green Horse

Type

Light Cavalry

Armor

Leather

Weapons

Spear, shield, bow

Morale

Militia

2

Patron Deity

Irillo

Notes

Horse Archers

Magic Factor

Low

1

Missile Factor

0

Melee Factor

3

One of the militia Hundreds of Nochet.

 

Golden Racers

Type

Light Cavalry

Armor

Leather

Weapons

Spear, shield, bow

Morale

Militia

2

Patron Deity

Irillo

Notes

Horse Archers

Magic Factor

Low

1

Missile Factor

0

Melee Factor

3

One of the militia Hundreds of Nochet.

 

Noble Brothers

Type

Heavy Infantry

Armor

Bronze

Weapons

Spear, shield, axe or sword

Morale

Veteran

5

Patron Deity

Varies

Magic Factor

Low

3

Missile Factor

0

Melee Factor

5

A regiment of the Kimantorings.

 

Axe Maidens

Type

Light Infantry

Armor

Leather

Weapons

Axe, square shield

Morale

Regular

4

Patron Deity

Babeester Gor

Magic Factor

Medium

5

Missile Factor

0

Melee Factor

4

A regiment drawn from the defenders of numerous Earth Temples.

 

Humakti Battalion

Type

Heavy Cavalry

Armor

Bronze

Weapons

Broadsword, shield, javelin

Morale

Elite

6

Patron Deity

Humakt

Notes

Mercenaries

Magic Factor

Low

1

Missile Factor

1

Melee Factor

4

       

This is the Humakt Battalion of Esrolia.

 

 

Sir Narib’s Company

Type

Magical Heavy Cavalry

Armor

Bronze

Weapons

Spear, broadsword, shield

Morale

Veteran

5

Patron Deity

Various

Notes

Esrolian/Western

Ritual Magic Factor

5

Ritual Magic

They use a huge adamant nail to summon their wyter in the form of a demonic entity wielding a flaming sword and riding a blue lion.

Magic Factor

Medium

5

Missile Factor

0

Melee Factor

4

Narib is a sorcerer from Pithdaros, who aided the adventurer Rikard the Tiger-Hearted to conquer his kingdom of Malkonwal. When his employer fled from the Lunar Army in 1620, Narib formed a ‘company’ with his fellow surviving sorcerers and found their way into Esrolian service.

 

 

Edited by M Helsdon
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Joerg    861

@M Helsdon has the Green Horse and Golden Racers as horse archers. Kuschile Yelmalians or Elmali? I doubt that Irillo would be the regimental deity - he is more of an "army god" for all non-Kimantoring militia in and around Nochet.

 

Are those numeric values taken from the Dragon Pass boardgame? Sir Narib looks like 4 - 5 - 5 - 5  (the range of their magic attack isn't specified). It has a strong contingent of heavy cavalry guards in addition to the sorcerers, who might be Hrestoli men-of-all with some rudimentary weapon training and wearing full armor, too.

In that case, I wonder why the two militia horse companies described as horse archers don't receive a missile factor and instead a rather high melee factor - they'd be at
3 - 1 - 5  (one movement less than the mounted archers of the Cavalry Corps or the Sartar Free Army). I'd be inclined to give them impala-clan like melee factors, and one missile factor.

I discussed Dragon Pass unit lists for Kethaela about 20 years ago. A typical Esrolian (Irillo) foot militia would be 2 - 2 - 3, and a horse militia maybe 3 - 2 - 4 for melee horse troops. I don't think we gave the militia any missile forces. On the other hand, there would be lots of such units. A few professional (Kimantoring) units would have Native Furthest (i.e. post Dragonkill, non-Fazzurite Tarshite) quality. (The Goldedge foot militia is not a Sun Domer unit, which might mean that its templars were present at the Dragonkill.)

Various Sartar Free Army and Magical Union units have their roots in Kethaela, showing what resident mercenary units can do, so no disagreement at all with the quality of the Humakti foot regiment.

I note that Broyan intercepted the Grazer force after its return from Monros, according to the map on p.733. Broyan first marched towards Monros, but then veered off to the north, towards Valadon/Willfort. The Building Wall caused this approach, more as a traffic obstacle than as a permanently manned defence.

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g33k    735

I'm surprised to see BabeesterGor AxeMaidens with such ordinary Morale... but then, I never saw any of the original wargames, so maybe it's just following the lead of those (and have BG's followers since been Upgreg'ed?  (that being the portmanteau of upgrade+Gregged))

Edited by g33k
typo

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M Helsdon    714
17 hours ago, Joerg said:

@M Helsdon has the Green Horse and Golden Racers as horse archers. Kuschile Yelmalians or Elmali? I doubt that Irillo would be the regimental deity - he is more of an "army god" for all non-Kimantoring militia in and around Nochet.

That's why I've included him for these two Nochet militia units. Nolerianmar was an option, but with only Harald's unit names to go by, these are all basically placeholders. So this was posted for any comments from Harald.

The Magic Factor, Missile Factor, Melee Factor are inspired by the unit capabilities in Dragon Pass.

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jajagappa    766
13 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

Axe Maidens

Type

Light Infantry

Axe Maidens have one heavy infantry and one heavy cavalry unit, not light infantry.

8 hours ago, Joerg said:

the Green Horse and Golden Racers as horse archers. Kuschile Yelmalians or Elmali? I doubt that Irillo would be the regimental deity - he is more of an "army god" for all non-Kimantoring militia in and around Nochet.

Pre-Samastina, the militia are largely Defenders of Nochet, and would certainly fall under Irillo's 'domain'.  My expectation is that all the militia units support Irillo along with another patron deity.  I'm away from my home computer this week, so can't immediately check who I identified for these two.  If I recall correctly, I have the Golden Racers also following Nolerianmar, son of Elmal.  The Green Horses are a bit more of an oddity - definitely not Yelmalio, though.

6 hours ago, g33k said:

surprised to see BabeesterGor AxeMaidens with such ordinary Morale...

Agree.  These are very scary regiments of vicious berserks that terrify most male-dominated units and have significant powers against oath-breakers - they are the most feared units in all Esrolia.

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M Helsdon    714
On ‎9‎/‎13‎/‎2017 at 11:11 PM, jajagappa said:

Axe Maidens have one heavy infantry and one heavy cavalry unit, not light infantry.

Pre-Samastina, the militia are largely Defenders of Nochet, and would certainly fall under Irillo's 'domain'.  My expectation is that all the militia units support Irillo along with another patron deity.  I'm away from my home computer this week, so can't immediately check who I identified for these two.  If I recall correctly, I have the Golden Racers also following Nolerianmar, son of Elmal.  The Green Horses are a bit more of an oddity - definitely not Yelmalio, though.

Agree.  These are very scary regiments of vicious berserks that terrify most male-dominated units and have significant powers against oath-breakers - they are the most feared units in all Esrolia.

Thanks for that. Will update my file.

Note that I've changed bows to javelins (as it seems a better guess) and one unit have round shields because of their Solar/Air origins.

Esrolia

Prior to 1624 Sir Narib’s Company of mercenaries was also present in Esrolia.

 

Green Horse

Type

Light Cavalry

Armor

Leather

Weapons

Spear, square shield, javelin

Morale

Militia

2

Patron Deity

Irillo

Notes

Horse Archers

Magic Factor

Low

1

Missile Factor

1

Melee Factor

3

One of the militia Hundreds of Nochet.

 

Golden Racers

Type

Light Cavalry

Armor

Leather

Weapons

Spear, round shield, javelin

Morale

Militia

2

Patron Deity

Irillo, Nolerianmar

Notes

Horse Archers

Magic Factor

Low

1

Missile Factor

1

Melee Factor

3

One of the militia Hundreds of Nochet.

 

Noble Brothers

Type

Heavy Infantry

Armor

Bronze

Weapons

Spear, shield, axe or sword

Morale

Veteran

5

Patron Deity

Varies

Magic Factor

Low

3

Missile Factor

0

Melee Factor

5

A regiment of the Kimantorings.

 

Axe Maidens

Type

Heavy Infantry

Armor

Leather

Weapons

Axe, square shield

Morale

Elite

6

Patron Deity

Babeester Gor

Notes

All female

Magic Factor

Medium

5

Missile Factor

0

Melee Factor

5

A regiment drawn from the defenders of numerous Earth Temples.

These are regiments of brutal berserkers who terrify most male-dominated units. They have significant powers against oath-breakers – and are the most feared regiments in all Esrolia.

 

Axe Maidens

Type

Heavy Cavalry

Armor

Leather

Weapons

Sagaris, axe, square shield

Morale

Elite

6

Patron Deity

Babeester Gor

Notes

All female

Magic Factor

Medium

5

Missile Factor

0

Melee Factor

5

A regiment drawn from the defenders of numerous Earth Temples.

 

Humakti Battalion

Type

Heavy Cavalry

Armor

Bronze

Weapons

Broadsword, shield, javelin

Morale

Elite

6

Patron Deity

Humakt

Notes

Mercenaries

Magic Factor

Low

1

Missile Factor

1

Melee Factor

4

       

This is the Humakt Battalion of Esrolia.

Edited by M Helsdon
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jajagappa    766
On 9/14/2017 at 2:41 AM, M Helsdon said:

Green Horse

Type

Light Cavalry

Armor

Leather

Weapons

Spear, square shield, javelin

Morale

Militia

2

Patron Deity

Irillo

Notes

Horse Archers

Magic Factor

Low

1

Missile Factor

1

Melee Factor

3

One of the militia Hundreds of Nochet.

Now that I'm back to my notes, the other patron deity is the Green Horse, called Dearn by the ignorant and Delarn by those of the Dearno district from which the Hundred is drawn, but its said that only the Noble Husbands and the Green Sages know his true name.

Square shield is appropriate.  I think they also carry an axe.

 
   
   
   
   

 

   
   
Edited by jajagappa
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jajagappa    766

Btw, here's the Kimantoring units that muster from Nochet:

Noble Brothers: This regiment of veteran heavy cavalry serves the war gods of the Noble Brothers Temple. They are all subservient to the Most Noble Aunt, a hereditary office held by the Delaeos clan.
Kimantorings: The sons of Argan Argar, this veteran regiment of heavy infantry includes ranks of spearmen, backed up by about two or three hundred heavily armored dark and great trolls. Their commander is typically a member of the Norinel clan and they are loyal to Queen Hendira.
Axe Maidens: The temple fearsome war goddess Babeester Gor maintains two elite regiments of axe maidens, the most feared soldiers in Esrolia. They are vicious, man-hating berserks who fight with axes and make beer out of the blood of their defeated foes. One regiment is heavy infantry, the other is cavalry.
Water Brothers Marines: This regiment of veteran marines (soldiers who specialize in fighting aboard triremes) is maintained by the Delaineao clan. Although heavily armored, they are superb skirmishers fighting with javelins and bows.
The Humakt Battalion: This elite mercenary regiment of heavy infantry is maintained by the Humakt temple. They fight with swords and are fanatically brave. They are very expensive to hire but always fulfill their contracts.

Edited by jajagappa

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jajagappa    766

Some other magical units that operate in Esrolia:

Within Nochet the most important magic units are:

  • the Healers of the Chalana Arroy Temple, aka the Sisters of Mercy, who follow the Esrolian army and can even resurrect the dead;
  • the Grace Priestesses, who can bless the Esrolians and curse their foes.

The priestesses at Ezel have magicians who can master the Earth. One group can create devastating earthquakes; another can shape the earth itself, creating walls on the battlefield or pits too deep to cross.  (Likely similar in many ways to the powers of the Shaker Temple)
At the Necropolis, the priestesses there can release the dead to fight, although the price is considered too high unless Esrolia itself is at risk (the last time the dead were released was centuries ago).

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M Helsdon    714
13 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Btw, here's the Kimantoring units that muster from Nochet:

Noble Brothers: This regiment of veteran heavy cavalry serves the war gods of the Noble Brothers Temple. They are all subservient to the Most Noble Aunt, a hereditary office held by the Delaeos clan.
Kimantorings: The sons of Argan Argar, this veteran regiment of heavy infantry includes ranks of spearmen, backed up by about two or three hundred heavily armored dark and great trolls. Their commander is typically a member of the Norinel clan and they are loyal to Queen Hendira.
Axe Maidens: The temple fearsome war goddess Babeester Gor maintains two elite regiments of axe maidens, the most feared soldiers in Esrolia. They are vicious, man-hating berserks who fight with axes and make beer out of the blood of their defeated foes. One regiment is heavy infantry, the other is cavalry.
Water Brothers Marines: This regiment of veteran marines (soldiers who specialize in fighting aboard triremes) is maintained by the Delaineao clan. Although heavily armored, they are superb skirmishers fighting with javelins and bows.
The Humakt Battalion: This elite mercenary regiment of heavy infantry is maintained by the Humakt temple. They fight with swords and are fanatically brave. They are very expensive to hire but always fulfill their contracts.

Thank you for that Harald. I've taken the liberty of expanding the entries below. I wonder if the Water Brothers are Heavy or Light Infantry? Unsure as to whom their patron might be.

[Re-edited version]

The Holy Country

Esrolia

Prior to 1624 Sir Narib’s Company of mercenaries was also present in Esrolia.

 

Green Horse

Type

Light Cavalry

Armor

Leather

Weapons

Spear, axe, square shield, javelin

Morale

Militia

2

Patron Deity

Irillo, Green Horse

Magic Factor

Low

1

Missile Factor

1

Melee Factor

3

Green Horse is called Dearn by the ignorant and Delarn by those of the Dearno district of Nochet from which the Hundred is drawn, but its said that only the Noble Husbands and the Green Sages know his true name.

Dearno is one of the rich noble districts, and one of the two oldest in the city.

 

Golden Racers

Type

Light Cavalry

Armor

Leather

Weapons

Spear, round shield, javelin

Morale

Militia

2

Patron Deity

Irillo, Nolerianmar

Magic Factor

Low

1

Missile Factor

1

Melee Factor

3

One of the militia Hundreds of Nochet.

 

Noble Brothers

Type

Heavy Cavalry

Armor

Bronze

Weapons

Spear or lance, shield, axe, mace, flail or sword

Morale

Veteran

5

Patron Deity

Varies

Magic Factor

Low

3

Missile Factor

0

Melee Factor

5

A regiment of the Kimantorings. This regiment of veteran heavy cavalry serves the war gods of the Noble Brothers Temple. They are all subservient to the Most Noble Aunt, a hereditary office held by the Delaeos clan, one of the most powerful noble clans.

The weapons of individual soldiers depends upon their preferred Noble Brother, with spear or lance being the primary weapon, and then sword, axe, mace, or even flail.

 

Axe Maidens

Type

Heavy Infantry

Armor

Leather

Weapons

Axe, square shield

Morale

Elite

6

Patron Deity

Babeester Gor

Notes

All female

Magic Factor

Medium

5

Missile Factor

0

Melee Factor

5

A regiment drawn from the defenders of numerous Earth Temples.

These are regiments of brutal berserkers who terrify most male-dominated units. They have significant powers against oath-breakers – and are the most feared regiments in all Esrolia.

 

Axe Maidens

Type

Heavy Cavalry

Armor

Leather

Weapons

Sagaris, axe, square shield

Morale

Elite

6

Patron Deity

Babeester Gor

Notes

All female

Magic Factor

Medium

5

Missile Factor

0

Melee Factor

5

A regiment drawn from the defenders of numerous Earth Temples.

 

Humakti Battalion

Type

Heavy Infantry

Armor

Bronze

Weapons

Broadsword, shield, javelin

Morale

Elite

6

Patron Deity

Humakt

Notes

Mercenaries

Magic Factor

Low

1

Missile Factor

1

Melee Factor

4

       

This elite mercenary regiment is maintained by the Humakt temple. They fight with swords and are fanatically brave. The battalion is very expensive to hire but always fulfill their contracts.

 

Sons of Argan Argar

Type

Heavy Infantry

Armor

Bronze, Lead

Weapons

Spear, mace, shield

Morale

Elite

6

Patron Deity

Argan Argar

Magic Factor

Low

1

Missile Factor

1

Melee Factor

5

       

A regiment of the Kimantorings, this veteran regiment of heavy infantry includes ranks of spearmen, backed up by two or three hundred heavily armored dark and great trolls. Their commander is typically a member of the Norinel clan and they were loyal to Queen Hendira until she was overthrown in a coup in 1622.

 

Water Brother Marines

Type

Heavy Infantry

Armor

Bronze

Weapons

Broadsword, shield, javelin, bow

Morale

Veteran

5

Patron Deity

Helamakt

Notes

Bow/javelin used as ships close, then sword/shield as they cross to foe's ships and attack.

Magic Factor

Low

1

Missile Factor

2

Melee Factor

4

       

This regiment specializes in fighting aboard triremes, and is maintained by the Delainaeo clan. Although heavily armored, they are superb skirmishers fighting with javelins and bows.

 

 

Edited by M Helsdon

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jajagappa    766
6 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

Noble Brothers

Type

Heavy Infantry

Note that the Noble Brothers should be Heavy Cavalry.  They likely use spear or lance as primary weapon, and then depending on their preferred Noble Brother, fall back on sword, axe, mace, or even flail.

9 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

Sons of Argan Argar

Type

Heavy Infantry

Given the black background color, the text could use a different (light) font color.

9 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

Water Brother Marines

Type

Heavy Infantry

They'd probably fit best with that old classic, Medium Infantry.  Their patron deity/Noble Brother is Helamakt.  Bow/javelin used as ships close, then sword/shield as they cross to foe's ships and attack.

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M Helsdon    714
12 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Note that the Noble Brothers should be Heavy Cavalry.  They likely use spear or lance as primary weapon, and then depending on their preferred Noble Brother, fall back on sword, axe, mace, or even flail.

My mistake. (Mis-edited Noble Brothers instead of Humakti Battalion.)

12 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Given the black background color, the text could use a different (light) font color.

Unfortunately Word color encoding doesn't always transfer correctly (in document white on black).

12 hours ago, jajagappa said:

They'd probably fit best with that old classic, Medium Infantry.  Their patron deity/Noble Brother is Helamakt.  Bow/javelin used as ships close, then sword/shield as they cross to foe's ships and attack.

Jeff's definitions only include Light or Heavy.

Will edit post above.

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jajagappa    766
59 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

Jeff's definitions only include Light or Heavy.

Yep.  So I'd go with Heavy given their armor.  Undoubtedly the officers wear enchanted aluminum.

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M Helsdon    714
13 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Yep.  So I'd go with Heavy given their armor.  Undoubtedly the officers wear enchanted aluminum.

Concur.

According to the RQ Quickstart booklet, the Water Runes is associated with whips and nets. Fortunately, the description of Esrolian warships in HQ:G says the 170 rowers are not slaves...

The marines listed are 15 archers. Historically, an ancient terrestrial trireme had an epibatai 'deck crew' of 10-20; Athenian triremes carried more hoplites than archers; Roman triremes had roughly the same number of marines. I suspect the Water Brother Marines regiment could supply the fighters for 50-100 triremes. As the Delainaeo Noble House is very rich this might not be an improbable number of ships (prior to Harrek's arrival...) At her peak, Athens had a fleet of 400 ships, and Athens was never as large as Nochet - all of Attica had a population of 250,000–300,000, and Nochet and its surrounding territory is likely to be far higher than that?

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soltakss    1,020

If they had archers, do they have towers for the archers to sit in?

Medieval ships seem to have gone through various changes, from low ships to long ships, then long ships with small towers for archers, then filling bits in between the towers, then bulking them out.

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Joerg    861

I've been wondering about the domination of the southern Genertelan navies  by the trireme design for quite a while. My go-to source used to be FGU's Bireme and Galley wargame and rpg supplement which included deck plans, campaign rules for re-building lost vessels, ramming maneuvers etc.

The bireme with two rows of oar banks was an easier and more seaworthy design than the trireme, and dominated the Roman navy as well as the period of colonization of the mediterranean prior to Athens' dominance. It is the logical step up from the penteconter or hectaconter monoreme design and is assumed to require less training than the trireme.

All of these designs have a single rower per oar. The pentaremes of the punic war are assumed to have had two decks of two rowers per oar and the lower deck with a single rower per oar, although designs with just two or even only one deck are possible.

Triremes are used by the Quinpolic league, the Handrans, the Kethaelans (Nochet, Rightarm Isles, Karse/Heortland), and by the Teshnans. All other naval forces appear to use monoremes with 25 to 50 rowers per side.

I am fairly sure that the original design of Dormal's ship resembled a merchant vessel rather than a war vessel. The crew members we know are sailor heroes rather than great fighters (which defined the crew of the Argo). The Empire of the Middle Sea started out with smaller ships for the Battle of Tanian's Victory, and terrorized Kethaela with its bronze-scale clad, fire-spewing turtle galleys (which have their historical precedent with the 16th century Korean turtle-ships). In Kralorela they encountered the mammoth war barges, which any megalomaniac ruler would have wanted to copy for their own aggrandizement, which may have led to the leviathans mentioned as protective force for the Svagad Fleet (Middle Sea Empire p.25). Svagad's original fleet consisted of gilded galleys (p.20) protected by friendly naiads and bound sylphs and undines.

I wonder why the trireme emerged as the pinnacle of Genertelan naval doctrine after the Closing. Starting with biremes would ha ve been logical, unless the shipbuilders of Karse and maybe Nochet maintained the art of building and crewing triremes. How many patrol craft would the Mirrorsea Bay have needed before the Opening? Maybe a dozen?

The Hendriki kings appear to have had access at least to a sizeable armada of transports in order to get to Rhigos and other places in the initial stage of the Adjustment Wars. While the route north of Shadow Plateau still was open, the history of their conquest suggests that they landed in southern Esrolia and expanded from there. Afterwards, mutual distrust may have prompted both the Esrolians and the Hendriki to maintain a patrol fleet able to intercept troop transports, but with the arrival of Belintar, the necessity of this must have dropped. It isn't entirely clear how much effort their Pelaskite rowers and helmsmen will have spent chasing their kin from the opposite shore of the bay, either. With the Opening, the necessity returned, and the Holy Country had a head start building vessels to project power. They didn't have enough training, though, as their initial clash with the pirates showed. I guess the pirates used less ambitious monoreme vessels, like the Wolf Pirate ones in the Guide.

 

Teshnan navy: Contrary to the statement under Military on p.426

Quote

The Lord of Melib commands one Haragalan Tallship as his personal vessel. Otherwise, naval vessels are unknown.

on p.439 we read under Tumasikit:

Quote

A squadron of triremes from here patrols the sea between Trowjang and Teshnos. The ships carry the famed Women’s Guard, a unit of swordswomen who worship Tolat with special sanction from the Somash priesthood.

I am convinced that at least about a quarter of the Holy Country triremes were absent from the 1616 battle against the Wolf Pirates. Dosakayo is a major Kethaelan naval or at least re-supply base protecting the Teshnan trade from Marazi and other raids and performing mercenary convoy duty for ships sailing past the Sofali Isles.

 

 

 

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M Helsdon    714
21 hours ago, soltakss said:

If they had archers, do they have towers for the archers to sit in?

Improbable, as triremes could only carry a small number of personnel on deck before they became unstable/suffered a significant reduction in speed. The trireme was pretty much at the limits of what was available at the time in terms of technology and muscle-power. Even so, it remained the dominant warship in the Mediterranean for more than four centuries.

Here's my assessment of a Holy Country trireme:

The Islands

Holy Country Warship

Type

Trireme

Armor

Timber, canvas side-screens.

Weapons

Bronze ram

Morale

Veteran

5

Patron Deity

Dormal

Crew

170 free rowers, 15 marines, 15 officers.

Magic Factor

Low

1

Missile Factor

2

Melee Factor

4

       

The characteristic warship of the southern Genertelan coasts is the trireme, with a carvel-built shell of planks held together with mortise-and-tenon joints forming the hull built up from the keel and stem- and stern-posts, the ribbing then fitted to this hull to reinforce it. Four to six heavy ropes are stretched from stem to stern to strengthen the hull. Pitch from the Shadow Plateau is applied to the hull to make it watertight.

A trireme has three banks of oars, the lowest bank emerging from oar-ports through leather sleeves to hinder the taking on of water, the middle bank from under the outrigger, and the upper bank fixed to rowlocks through the outrigger extending beyond the side of the hull. Each oar is rowed by one oarsman, sitting on a leather cushion. There are 27 oarsmen each side at the lowest level, 27 either side at the middle level, and 31 on each side at the top level. The oarsmen are rarely armed.

A light deck, port and starboard, protects the upper bank of oarsmen, and provides fighting platforms running fore and aft.

Ten to twenty marines are the usual complement, with the rest of the deck crew consisting of the captain, a helmsman using two steering-oars by means of a transverse tiller, a bow officer, shipwright, and the bosun who commands the oarsmen, and a drummer or flute player.

The number of marines is low because too many people moving on deck threatens the vessel’s stability on the open sea and reduces the efficiency of the rowers. Some are stationed in the stern and act as bodyguards for the captain and helmsman. Others are at the prow to act as boarders. In calmer sheltered waters, such as Choralinthor Bay, the number of marines aboard might be increased to as many as forty, though risking a reduction in speed.

Normally the ship makes use of a main square sail rigged from the main yard for propulsion, and a smaller ‘boat’ sail at the prow to aid steering. Warships lower their mast and sails before going into battle.

Battle tactics are typically ramming and then boarding the enemy with heavily-armed troops. Ships are protected by magical guardians worshiped by the crew.

 

Edited by M Helsdon
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